Law Students Take the Pro Bono Pledge

Law Students Take the Pro Bono Pledge
Lynn Safranek
Law School Office of Communications
November 5, 2010

Chicago Law students will have more reasons to go into the Chicago community and to start using their lawyering skills early with the Law School’s new Pro Bono Program.

As part of the program, students were encouraged recently to take the Pro Bono Pledge, a promise to complete at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work before they graduate. Qualifying volunteer work must be law related and cannot be completed for academic credit or for other compensation. The work also must be supervised by an attorney or a Law School faculty member. If students complete the pledge, they will receive special recognition at graduation.

As part of the Pro Bono Program, the Office of Career Services will provide guidance to students searching for pro bono opportunities to complete their pledge. Speakers from local organizations will be invited to the Law School to present information and volunteering prospects.

“We’re of the opinion that students begin their professional careers when they enter law school,” said Susan J. Curry, Director of Public Interest Law and Policy. “A student’s law school days are a critical time to start giving back to the community.”

Students are being encouraged to take the Pro Bono Pledge, in addition, because it will help their careers. The volunteer work will expose them to networking opportunities and skills-building job experiences, Curry said, as well as show their commitment to assisting individuals, groups, or causes that are underrepresented in the legal system.

At least 75 Chicago Law students signed the pledge at the program’s kick-off event. Students indicated interest in pursuing volunteer opportunities related to civil rights work, LGBT issues, and immigrant children, among other areas.

“There’s something for everybody in a city the size of Chicago,” Curry said.